Snapping Hip Syndrome

What is Snapping Hip Syndrome?

Snapping hip syndrome (also known as dancer’s hip or iliopsoas tendinitis) is a painless popping or clicking sound around the hip joint. Snapping hip syndrome is characterised by a snapping sensation and/or an audible  “snap” or “click” sound around the hip when the patient moves. The condition is common among runners, football players and dancers, especially for people aged 15 to 40 years. Though mostly as an annoyance for most patients, the condition can cause pain and weakness.

There are three types of snapping hip syndrome, namely:

  • Iliotibial band snap —the iliotibial band is a thick tendon over the outside of the hip joint
  • Internal — the iliopsoas tendon is the primary hip flexor muscle whose tendon passes just in front of the hip joint
  • Intra-articular — the tear of the cartilage within the hip joint

Causes of snapping hip syndrome include:

  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Ligament laxity
  • Movement of muscle or tendon over a bony area
  • Prolonged exercise
  • Repetitive hip movements
  • Tight Iliotibial band
  • Weakness in the muscles around the hip

Symptoms include:

  • A snapping sound
  • Sound produced around the hip joint when bending or extending the hip
  • Pain that relieves with rest and reduction in activities

Treatments typically involve:

  • Ice patch
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)
  • Reducing activity levels
  • Surgical release for refractory cases

Related Specialties